For November my goal was to tidy and clean the house, in preparation for the kids' ninth birthday party.
Tick! It took a lot of work, but for a short, sweet time (two weeks) I had a thoroughly clean, tidy, decluttered and sweet-smelling house.
Even a tidy front and back yard.
It's still not bad, but it is on its way back to normal, unfortunately. I don't have the effort or will to maintain the way it was forever. I tell myself I hold other things in higher importance to a tidy house. I tell myself kids and pets are messy and life is messy. But really, I just hate cleaning, and I am lazy.
But the kids' party was a success, and I only gritted my teeth a couple of times (for a couple of kids - one not even invited - who push my buttons every time as they never say please or thank you, and their parents never get out of their car while dropping them off and picking them up).
We had a fairly traditional, low-key party, with cheap, homemade games (jelly bean blindfolded taste testing, dance statues, and the bloody mandatory Pass the Parcel). My prizes for the games were the cheapest $1 crap I could source, the lolly bags were filled with cheap toxic sweets and a couple of useless trinkets, and I only offered two drinks to all the kids: cheap fruit cocktail cordial poured from jugs, and water.
For the grown-up guests I had a cheese-cracker-and-dip platter and some homemade spinach and cheese pies (fancy!), packets of homebrand potato chips, two bottles of soft drink, one $5 bottle of cleanskin wine and 6 bottles of light beer. I usually over-cater, but this year being on a tight budget forced me not to - and sure enough, there was still plenty of everything to go around.
More surprisingly, I heard from both grown-ups and kids that it was a great party - not that it seemed so to me, but you can't really tell when you're in the thick of it, running round hosting, and are also a hybernating introvert not well-practiced in hosting anything.
So anyway, on to December.
We're almost at the end, but my resolution for December was to have a well-organised, stress-free and on-budget Christmas. This year for the first time my kids are not expecting Santa, so they have automatically lowered their gift haul expectations, which is advantageous (if a little sad!) They are still going to do alright, but we are scaling down.
Christmas this year is going to be pretty easy for us. My sister and her husband are hosting Christmas lunch, and for the evening we are going to my cousin's place. Hence, as I don't have to do anything more than bring a couple of platters and salads and some drinks, there is no reason for me to feel stressed at all.
Except you do, of course. It's a busy time of year with lots going on, and the expenses keep climbing as the day draws near. Chocolates for work, candy canes or tiny gifts for school friends (I hate that one), teacher gifts (suddenly there are a lot of teachers.... I went with boxes of chocolates this year for everyone), endless trips to Kmart and the supermarket as you remember something else... and meanwhile life's ongoing obligations and expenses continue.
So yes, it is stressful, and I am SO thankful I am not hosting Christmas in any way, and I am VERY grateful to my sister and cousin who are.
But the good news is, I am almost ready. Almost.
How are you managing the last days before Christmas?
#12Resolutions:January: walk 5 times a week (achieved - I now walk daily)
February: write 2 short stories (failed - wrote none)
March: write 1 short story, and start Project Management course (done)
April: visit GP and complete or schedule the follow-ups (done)
May: complete one module of Project Management course (failed)
June: working day money savers: public transport and packed lunch (done)
July: pay attention to needs, moods and emotions to manage reactions (done, and ongoing)
August: limit time-wasting activities on my phone (done - and still going pretty well)
September: 15 mins floor exercises daily (nope)
October: get more sleep (yes)
November: tidy and clean house for December entertaining (done)
December: an organised, on-budget and stress-free Christmas!